Western New Jersey

Convicted murderer Thor Frey's retrial twice interrupted by courthouse fire alarms

BELVIDERE, N.J. - The retrial of convicted murderer Thor Frey was interrupted for a second time Thursday by a fire alarm in the Warren County Courthouse.

The second alarm sounded at 1:50 p.m. , and the courthouse was cleared. Court employees and and visitors stood outside for about 10 minutes before they were allowed inside.

The first alarm went off at 9:50 a.m., and court employees and trial participants waited outside for about 45 minutes while emergency officials checked the courthouse, but found nothing amiss. There was no explanation from court officials about why the alarm went off.

Summations in the Frey trial are scheduled for this afternoon.

Judge Ann R. Bartlett, prosecutor Kelly Shelton and defense lawyer Michael Priarone more than three hours on Thursday coming to an agreement on the wording of the final charges.

The alarm delayed their work for about an hour.

Perhaps the most crucial part of their negotiations dealt the instructions to the jury that say Frey cannot be charged with felony murder if the jury finds him not guilty of robbery.

Frey was convicted in 2009 in the beating and suffocation death of Mary Bostian of Phillipsburg in 2006. He and an accomplice were convicted of killing Bostian while stealing a safe with $25,000 in cash and coins from a closet in a second-floor bedroom near hers.

An appellate court granted Frey a new trial in 2011.

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